“You spoke. We listened. We asked the community…if United Way were to start from scratch where should we best invest donor dollars for the most impact. And the community has spoken,” says United Way Peterborough & District CEO, Jim Russell in an update released by the organization September 11, 2014. “That’s just one of the questions we asked over 500 people in the City and County of Peterborough while undergoing a 3-year strategic planning process. We put issues on the table and talked to the community about deciding the priority for United Way funding. This work included deep discussions with our current member agencies, engaging their leadership in helping to develop this shared vision for our community,” Russell added.
Now, after more than two and a half years of research and development, the organization is announcing the funds raised in the 2014 Campaign will be invested in long term strategic community priorities with a focus on prevention and intervention.
“Earlier this year, we provided an update on the work with our current member agencies and key stakeholders to help us develop a more defined funding model. The result is a strategy that will enable our donors, volunteers and partners to clearly see and appreciate the transformational impact of their dollars and efforts in strengthening our community, today and over the long term,” Russell continued. “In April, we launched an open call to local social service agencies to apply for funding under the new community investment model.”
“The response to the call for proposals is a testament to the strength of the agency sector in our community and the need in our community,” says Linda Mitchelson, Chair of the volunteer driven Agency and Community Services Committee and Director of Social Services at the City of Peterborough. “Thirty-nine agencies submitted a total of 60 proposals totaling $3 million. Many of them showed great promise in moving the needle on our priority goals. We would love to be able to fund all of the requests but the reality is our resources are limited. Having said that we are still able to fund programs and initiatives that will make significant progress toward a vision of a poverty-free community; a place where all children and youth achieve their full potential; where individuals and families have greater independence and financial stability; where everyone has a sense of well-being and safety and feels a meaningful connection to our community.”
For the first time in many years, United Way turned to the broader community including their current member agencies to help create a shared vision to enhance and define United Way’s collective ability to make change happen in the community.
“Our update today is about investing donor dollars in a smarter way that will create meaningful, measurable and enduring change in our community,” says Suzanne Hooke, Chair of United Way Peterborough Board of Directors. “It’s about making sure donors can see the link between their donations and the changes that result – changes to people’s lives today, and lasting changes in our community. That’s what our donors expect of us and that’s what we are committed to delivering.”